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All Decade

Game of the Decade: Bruins stun Maple Leafs in Game 7 of 2013 first round

Stage epic comeback from three goals down in third period, win in overtime

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / Staff Writer

Game of the Decade: TOR vs. BOS

Game of the Decade: 2013 ECQF Gm 7, TOR vs. BOS

On May 13, 2013, the Bruins became the first NHL team to win Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Playoff series after trailing by three goals in the 3rd

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In the runup to the unveiling of the NHL First and Second All-Decade Teams on Jan. 24 (6:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN), the NHL will be announcing its best plays, moments, events, coaches and team of the 2010s.

One selection, chosen by and International staff members, will be unveiled each day in the runup to the release of the all-decade teams. Today is Game of the Decade, which is Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden in Boston on May 13, 2013. 


BOSTON -- The call still echoes, nearly seven years later.

"Bergeron! Bergeron!"

The Boston Bruins spilled over the boards and onto the ice while radio announcer Dave Goucher uttered his iconic call, a mass of bodies and skates and utter insanity. Patrice Bergeron had scored at 6:05 of overtime to give the Bruins a 5-4 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round, completing one of the most improbable comebacks in Stanley Cup Playoff history, and the players could not hold themselves back.

"Sometimes when you get over the boards, you watch the guy next to you because he jumps, you don't want to get cut, right?" forward David Krejci said. "But that moment, there was so much adrenaline going. Nothing mattered. Just get as fast as you can to the pile, jump on each other."

All this time later, that feeling is still fresh for Krejci. It's there in his eyes, a replay of a game that the Bruins had nearly given up for lost, before they came roaring back to win.

There was 14:31 left in the third period when Nazem Kadri scored to extend Toronto's lead to 4-1, a seemingly insurmountable gulf. The Bruins were crushed.

"My line went out and we got hemmed in our own end and fans were booing and rightfully so," said Chris Kelly, then a forward on the Bruins and now the team's player development coordinator. "I remember coming off after that shift, thinking to myself, I can't believe we're going to lose to Toronto. This is terrible."

Nathan Horton scored, at 9:18, but the Bruins were still down by two.

Time ticked down, toward what appeared to be the end of their season.

And then Milan Lucic scored, with 1:22 remaining.

And then Bergeron scored, with 50.2 seconds remaining.

And then the score was tied.

"You get one, then another one, and then another one," Kelly said. "I think it was just one of those things. You play that game 100 times, 99 times you lose. That's just reality. And I remember thinking we tied it up, going into the locker room, being happy, super excited. But we still needed one more goal."

Because if they lost in overtime, that comeback was for nothing. It wouldn't be remembered; it wouldn't matter.

"You feel like everything is collapsing and it might be the end of something special, as far as the core that we had," Bergeron said of the group of players who won the Stanley Cup together in 2011. "Then not wanting that to happen and kind of try to roll up your sleeves and find some energy somehow, somewhere."

Video: 2013 Round 1, Game 7: Bruins cap incredible rally

That was when he scored, on a rebound around the net. That was when they jumped over the boards and into the history books.

"I don't think we could get off the bench fast enough," Kelly said. "Let's get out of here. It felt like we stole something."

They had won. They would advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Final where, in cosmic retribution perhaps, they were stunned by the Chicago Blackhawks, who scored twice in 17 seconds to win Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, just when the Bruins were on the brink of extending that series.

But at that moment on May 13, 2013, it was pandemonium. It was chaos. It was, as forward Brad Marchand put it, "by far the most fun I've ever had playing hockey."


All-Decade schedule:

Jan. 15: Save of the Decade -- Braden Holtby, Game 2, 2018 Stanley Cup Final  

Jan. 16: Thursday: Coach of the Decade: Joel Quenneville 

Jan. 17: Franchise of the Decade: Chicago Blackhawks 

Jan. 18: Playoff Series of the Decade: 2014 Western Conference Final, Los Angles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks 

Sunday: Game of the Decade: 2013 Eastern Conference First Round, Game 7, Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 

Monday: Event of the Decade

Tuesday: Moment of the Decade

Wednesday: Goal of the Decade

Friday: First and Second All-Decade Team

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